A Collection of Icelandic Album Reviews by Wim Van Hooste

Sunday, August 26, 2012

HAM "Svik, harmur og Dauði"

If you think about ham, you don’t expect to get an Icelandic rock band on your plate. Yet HAM (Happy, Angry, Mad) is a well known phenomenon on the Icelandic music soil since 1988. Björk is a huge fan of this cult band with a solid fan base in their home country. Several times HAM was the supporting act for The Sugarcubes in the United States (1988). In 1989 the album "Buffalo Virgin" was released on One Little Indian, the successor of the controversial album "Hold". In 2011, then came a full-fledged sequel with the title "Svik, Harmur og Dauði" (Betrayal, Sorrow and Death). In the meantime there were several live albums released. HAM claims to play no metal and is most comparable with Rammstein. Only these Icelanders were a decade earlier than the Germans, with their bulldozer sound with gothic influences; Rammstein avant la lettre. This guitar workmen create a wall of sound, complemented by the shrill sound of singer Ottarr Proppé and the deep voice of singer-guitarist Sigurjon Kjartansson. Best tracks on the album are: "Dauð Hora" (dead prostitute), "Alcoholismus chronicus," "Gamlir Svikamenn Á Ferd" (old betrayers on the road) and "Ingimar".

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